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No man can tell; but all before their sight,
A fairy train appear'd in order bright:
Adown the glittering stream they featly danced;
Bright to the moon their various dresses glanced;
They footed o'er the wat'ry glass so neat,
The infant ice scarce bent beneath their feet
While arts of minstrelsy among them rung,
And soul-ennobling bards heroic ditties sung.
O, had M'Laughlan,* thairm-inspiring sage,
Been there to hear this heavenly band engage,
When through his dear Strathspeys they bore with

Highland rage;
Or when they struck old Scotia's melting airs,
The lover's raptur'd joys or bleeding cares ;
How would his Highland lug been nobler fir'd,
And ev'n his matchless hand with finer touch inspir'd
No guess could tell what instrument appear'd,
But all the soul of Music's self was heard;
Harmonious concert rung in every part,
While simple melody pour'd moving on the heart.

The Genius of the Stream in front appears, A venerable chief advanc'd in years; His hoary head with water-lilies crown'd, His manly leg with garter-tangle bound. Next came the loveliest pair in all the ring, Sweet female Beauty hand in hand with Spring , Then, crown'd with flow'ry hay, came Rural Joy And Summer, with his fervid-beaming eye ; All-cheering Plenty, with her flowing horn, Led yellow Autumn, wreath'd with nodding corn; Then Winter's time-bleach'd locks did hoary show By Hospitality with cloudless brow.

* A well-known performer of Scotish music on the violin.

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Next follow'd Courage with his martial stride,
From where the Feal wild-woody coverts hide;
Benevolence, with mild, benignant air,
A female form,* came from the tow'rs of Stair ;
Learning and Worth in equal measures trode
From simple Catrine, their long-lov'd abode;
Last, white-rob'd Peace, crown'd with a hazel wreatne
To rustic Agriculture did bequeath
The broken iron instruments of Death;
At sight of whom our Sprites forgat their kindling wratho



The sun had clos'd the winter day,
The curlers quat their roaring play,
An' hunger'd maukin ta'en her way

To kail-yards green,
While faithless snaws ilk step betray

Where she has been.

The thrasher's weary flingin-tree
The lee-lang day had tired me;
And when the day had clos'd his c'e,

Far i’ the west,

* The poet here alludes to a Mrs. Stewart, who was then in possen sion of Stair. She afterwards removed to Afton-lodge, on the banks of the Afton, a stream which he subsequently celebrated in a song entitled u Afton Water." - ED.

+ Duan, a term of Ossian's for the different divisions of a digresivo poem. See his Cath-Loda, vol. j. of Macpherson's translation.


Ben if the spence, right pensivelie,

I gaed to rest.

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There, lanely, by the ingle-cheek,
I sat and ey'd the spewing reek,
That fill'd, wi' hoast-provoking smeek,

The auld clay biggin;
An' heard the restless rattons squeak

About the riggin.

All in this mottie, misty clime,
I backward mus'd on wasted time,
How I had spent my youthfu' prime,

An' done nae-thing,
But stringin blethers up in rhyme,

For fools to sing.

Had I to guid advice but harkit,
I might, by this, hae led a market,
Or strutted in a bank an' clarkit

My cash account:
While here, half mad, half fed, half sarkit,

Is a th' amount.

I started, mutt'ring, blockhead! coof!
And heav'd on high my waukit loof,
To swear by a' yon starry roof,

Or some rash aith,
That I henceforth would be a rhyme-proof

Till my last breath ;

When, click! the string the sneck did draw
And, jee! the door gaed to the wa';
An' by my ingle-lowe I saw,

Now bleezin bright

A tight, outlandish Hizzie, braw,

Come full in sight.

Ye need nae doubt, I held my whisht;
The infant aith, half-form'd, was crusht
I glow'rd as eerie's I'd been dusht,

In some wild glen;
When sweet, like modest Worth, she blushita

And stepped ben.

Green, slender, leaf-clad holly-boughs
Were twisted, gracefu', round her brows;
I took her for some Scottish muse,

By that same token;
An' come to stop those reckless vows,

Wou'd soon been broken.

A “hair-brain'd, sentimental trace,"
Was strongly marked in her face;
A wildly-witty, rustic grace

Shone full upon her ;
Her eye, ev'n turn'd on empty space,

Beam'd keen with honor.

Down flow'd her robe, a Tartan sheen,
Till half a leg was scrimply seen;
And such a leg! my bonie Jean

Could only peer it;
Sae straught, sae taper, tight and clean,

Nane else came near it.

Her mantle large, of greenish hue,
My gazing wonder chiefly drew;
Deep lights and shades, bold-mingling, threw

A lustre grand;

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And seem'd, to my astonish'd view,

A well-known land!

Here, rivers in the sea were lost;
There, mountains to the skies were tost;
Ilere, tumbling billows mark'd the coast

With surging foam;
There distant shone Art's lofty boast,

The lordly dome.

Here, Doon pour'd down his far-fetch'd floods
There, well-fed Irvine stately thuds;
Auld hermit Ayr staw thro' his woods,

On to the shore ;
And many a lesser torrent scuds,

With seeming roar.

Low, in a sandy valley spread,
An ancient Borough rear'd her head;
Still, as in Scottish story read,

She boasts a race
To ev'ry nobler virtue bred,

And polish'd grace.

By stately tow'r or palace fair,
Or ruins pendant in the air,
Bold stems of heroes, here and there,

I could discern;
Sorr.e seem'd to muse, some seem'd to dare,

With features stern.

My heart did glowing transport feel,
To see a race * heroic wheel,

# The Wallaces.

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